Howgill Herdwick lamb tartare with kimchi and soy-cured egg yolk

This delicious lamb tartare is mixed with fiery homemade kimchi, fresh mackerel and anchovies creating a real symphony of umami-rich and complex flavour. It is topped with little dots of lamb oil emulsion, a soy-cured egg yolk and crunchy pickled daikon to cut through the rich flavours, resulting in a perfectly balanced dish. The homemade kimchi takes 4–6 weeks to ferment, but you can use a good-quality shop-bought version if you don't have the time.

First published in 2021
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Cabbage

Kimchi paste

Lamb oil emulsion

Soy-cured egg yolk

Pickled daikon

  • 1/4 daikon radish, peeled and brunoised
  • 50ml of water
  • 100ml of rice wine vinegar
  • 50g of sugar

Puffed rice

Lamb tartare

To serve

Equipment

  • Blender

Method

1

Begin by making the kimchi as it needs 4–6 weeks to ferment (if you're using shop-bought kimchi, you can skip to step 5). Make the brine by placing the water and salt in a pan and heat up until the salt has dissolved. Leave to cool, then add the cabbage leaves and leave to brine for 1 hour

2

To make the kimchi paste, pour the 240g of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Whisk in the rice flour, then add the rest of the kimchi ingredients and continue to cook until it thickens a little. Take off the heat and leave to cool

3

Drain the cabbage leaves from the brine then dip each leaf into the kimchi paste, ensuring they are fully coated. Layer into a Kilner jar (wear plastic gloves for this process if you have them). Weigh the leaves down with a fermenting weight or a sandwich bag filled with water so that the leaves are packed tight and completely submerged in the liquid. Leave to ferment somewhere dark and at room temperature

4

‘Burp’ the jar every day for the next 2 weeks to allow the built-up gas to escape. After that, burp every few days until you hit 4 weeks. Try a leaf and see if it is to your taste. If it is a little salty, leave for another 2 weeks. Place in the fridge until ready to use. It will keep for a good few weeks if you keep it in the fridge

5

The lamb oil needs to infuse overnight so prepare this a day in advance. Preheat an oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and roast the lamb bones for 40 minutes. Heat up the oil until just starting to shimmer, then very carefully lower the bones into the oil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse overnight

6

The soy-cured egg yolks needs 8–10 hours to cure, so is best prepared on the morning of serving. (If this is an issue, you can cure for 8 hours then transfer to good quality oil and store until ready to serve.) Place the soy sauce and mirin into a small container then carefully place the egg yolks into it, ensuring they do not break. Leave in the fridge for 8-10 hours until ready to serve

7

To make the lamb oil emulsion, strain the bones from the oil. Whisk the yolks together with the mustard and vinegar until thick and doubled in volume. Slowly drizzle the oil in whilst continuously whisking to create a thick mayonnaise, reserving around a tablespoon of oil for the tartare later. If it begins to split, you can bring it back together with a little cold water. Taste, season with salt and transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle

8

To make the pickled daikon, place the water, vinegar and sugar in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool, then add the daikon and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour

  • 50ml of water
  • 100ml of rice wine vinegar
  • 50g of sugar
9

To make the puffed rice, heat the oil in a small pan to around 195ºC. When a grain of rice is dropped into the oil it should puff up and float to the top almost instantly. Add the rice in small batches, drain on kitchen paper and season with a pinch of salt. Store in an airtight container to ensure the grains remains crisp

10

Finally, make the tartare. Mix all the ingredients together with a dash of the reserved lamb oil. Take 4 leaves out of your kimchi jar and finely chop them, then stir them into the tartare mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed

11

To plate, spoon the tartar into a ring in the centre of each plate, leaving a well in the centre to place the egg yolk. Carefully lift the yolk out of the soy sauce and place it on top. Pipe dots of the lamb oil emulsion around the edge, then sprinkle with the pickled daikon and puffed rice. Finish with a few micro herbs

First published in 2021
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Born in Germany to Japanese parents, Nina Matsunaga and her partner James Ratcliffe now run The Black Bull in Sedbergh, a beautiful pub on the edge of the Lake District, where she cooks local ingredients full of international influences.

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